In WVU's most recent game, a 74-67 win over Eastern Kentucky last Sunday, Huggins only used nine players, which is generally a pretty normal number for a rotation. But consider that of the players who sat for the EKU game, Kevin Noreen isn't likely to remain on the bench for long and a few others, like Matt Humphrey and Aaron Brown, could easily find themselves on the floor if Huggins is looking for shooting.
"I'd like to [settle on a smaller rotation], but I don't know if I can,'' Huggins said. "I didn't play Kevin Noreen for two games [he's played only 22 minutes the last four games after averaging 25 the previous three] and I think everybody agrees he needs to be in the game.
"And who knows, maybe if we can't make a shot Matt Humphrey can or Aaron Brown can. A.B. was our best outside shooter a year ago.''
The one thing that is sure to return to normal now, though, is the regularity of games. Since opening the season Nov. 12 at Gonzaga, the Mountaineers have gone through stretches of 10, seven and eight days without a game and have played just once in the last two weeks. Conversely, they also had three games in one four-day stretch and four in a 10-day span.
"We've had so many off days since the season started it's been hard,'' said senior center Deniz Kilicli. "Now it's time to go, but this is where it gets mentally tougher with games and all the travel and classes.''
At least for today, though, none of that is a concern. The Mountaineers have had nearly a week off and today face an Oklahoma team still relatively fresh in their minds. The Sooners built a 14-point lead over WVU in that November game, but the game was tied with 61/2 minutes to play.
Down the stretch, though, Oklahoma did what the Mountaineers have prepared for in the rematch - took advantage of missed shots on WVU's end and rebounded their own misses at the other.
"They beat us in transition. I think their last six or seven shots were either in transition or second shots,'' Huggins said. "But the thing is, they don't have to do that to score. They're pretty well rounded.''
The balanced Sooners are led in scoring by 6-foot-8, 232-pound forward Romero Osby (12.6 points) and 6-4 senior guard Steven Pledger (11.5). Amath M'Baye, a 6-9 junior, averages 9.8 points and 6-3 freshman guard Buddy Hield averages 8.4.
After today's game, West Virginia is on the road for three of its next four, beginning with one of those 9 p.m. games Wednesday at Texas.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.